The Islanders have had contact with veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky, per a series of tweets from Newsday's Arthur Staple. Nothing sounds imminent, so don't order that jersey just yet.
#Isles and UFA D Marek Zidlicky have been discussing a contract past few weeks. Nothing decided on either side, but interest is there.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) August 12, 2015
Zidlicky, 38, started last season with Devils and was traded to the Red Wings at the deadline. 6 of 7 goals were on PP last season.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) August 12, 2015
Zidlicky averaged 18:11 of EV ice time last season. Turns 39 in Feb., but would fill PP/vet D need for #Isles if young D-men don't step up.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) August 12, 2015
Judging by the reactions from a couple of Devils and Red Wings fan friends on Twitter, the contact with the Islanders is the only contact Zidlicky has seen in some time.
His possession stats aren't terrible (50.8 ES Corsi last season between Detroit and New Jersey) despite his advanced age, but Zidlicky's not really known as a defensive whiz these days. He had seven goals and 27 assists last year, but as Staple points out, the majority of his points came on the power play (6g, 13a).
Beyond the old "veteran presence" trope, it's possible that the interest is based on a reluctance to bring back Lubomir Visnovsky, who despite being a fan and team favorite, has a history with concussions and injuries that the Islanders might not want to revisit. Zidlicky has been fairly durable recently, playing 84, 81 and the full 48 lockout games in the last few seasons. He did however end his season with a concussion during the Red Wings playoff series against Tampa Bay.
Maybe a veteran like Zidlicky can help us all realize our dream of a Brian Strait-free line-up.
Meanwhile, in other Old Hockey Players News, the Juice is once again lose:
Former Cap Milan Jurcina signs with KHL Medvedcak Zagreb— Igor Kleyner (@IgorKleyner) August 12, 2015
And for the youngsters that have no idea what that headline means, I am so, so sorry: